Female Festival 1st Scene Reading: Steal The Light, by Whitney Stewart

After Hurricane Katrina destroys her home and career, a young journalist abandons everything to fulfill her German grandmother’s dying wish — to discover the fate of her brother who disappeared on the Russian Front of World War Two.


Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Charlotte: Hannah Ehman
Anna: Nkasi Ogbonnah

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

Winning FEMALE 1st Scene of GOD’S WORK IS NEVER DONE, by Tara C Hall

Genre: Thriller, Horror, Crime

A serial killer roams from small town to small town, preying on abusive, sadistic men who won’t be missed when they die both mysteriously and violently.


Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Rick Ford: Neil Bennett
Bartender: Rais Moui
The Woman: Connie Wang

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

An unknown woman who appears to be the victim of domestic violence, turns out to be a psychopathic killer preying on sadistic, abusive men.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Thiller, horror, drama.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I think that there is a demand among female audiences for darker stories. There has been a rise in true crime, largely because of that female audience. Even though this is a fictional story, so much of the ideas came from the stories of real serial killers and their victims.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Quietly brutal.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Harold & Maude. I remember the first time I saw it when I was a kid and I love it as much as I did then.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

A little over a year from idea to polished draft.

How many stories have you written?

20-30 give or take.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

“This Will Be Our Year” by The Zombies.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

While I didn’t have any obstacles with the writing process, I always struggle with keeping a consistent writing schedule with work, kids, and all of the regular life problems that creep in on that time.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

True crime and sketch comedy.

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

When I read the description for this festival, I appreciated the fact that the ultimate goal is to eventually not exist because women will (hopefully) have an equal share in storytelling. The feedback was thoughtful and detailed. I got the feeling that the reader actual read the script and didn’t just skim it.


Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox